Washington Watch: Donald Trump, Speaker of the House?

Donald, this could be your chance to Make Congress Great Again.

November 2, 2016 21:31
4 minute read.
US presdieential debate

DATE IMPORTED: October 10, 2016 Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. . (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


If, as most polls indicate, Hillary Clinton is elected president on November 8, where does that leave Donald Trump? Initially, at least, he will be all over cable TV bleating, “I was robbed,” attacking everyone he felt didn’t give him the proper respect and support and threatening to sue any and all.

One of those likely to come in for special attention is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whom he particularly dislikes.

Ryan has made no secret of the fact that he finds Trump insufficiently conservative, as well as distasteful, particularly in light of charges of sexual abuse. Ryan has told House colleagues to vote their conscience and not feel bound to Trump, although Ryan – in what history books may regard as a landmark of hyper-partisan hypocrisy – said he would vote for the party’s nominee. A poll this week shows nearly two in three Republican voters disapprove of Ryan’s decision not to campaign for Trump. Trump makes no secret that he’s furious with Ryan for not being sufficiently sycophantic and repeatedly calls him a “loser” for the 2012 election when he was Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Fox News personality Sean Hannity branded Ryan a “saboteur” and told The Washington Post he “needed to be called out and replaced.”

Breitbart.com, whose former leader is CEO of the Trump campaign, called Ryan a secret Clinton supporter.

The Freedom Caucus, the alt-right extremists and hard-core Trump supporters in the House GOP caucus who were responsible for deposing former speaker John Boehner, are threatening to vote against Ryan for reelection as speaker, even though he is arguably the most conservative speaker in history.

Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Meadows, leader of Boehner’s putsch, told The Atlantic, “A lot of people who believe so desperately that we need to put Donald Trump in the White House – they question the loyalty of the speaker.”

There’s some talk that rather than face a bloody revolt in his caucus to keep his job, Ryan might decide to go back to chairing the Ways and Means Committee or just quit the House and prepare for a 2020 presidential run.

Breitbart suggested Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas as a successor to Ryan. Gohmert has been called America’s dumbest congressman, with good reason.

That may have had something to do with his accusing US Attorney General Eric Holder of having “cast aspersions on my asparagus” and Gohmert’s opposition to a 2009 hate crimes bill because it would legalize pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality while ushering in Nazism.

Earlier this year he said President Barack Obama can’t “stand Israel” and “gets along fine” only with “self-loathing” Jews, something likely to add to Jewish discomfort with an increasingly radical GOP.

Gohmert and other wing nuts getting Hannity’s blessing, like Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the Freedom Caucus, and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, who was behind the 2013 government shutdown, probably can’t get elected.

The speaker does not have to be a member of the House, although all have been so far. Since those who most want to dump Ryan have been ardent supporters of Trump, they could nominate him for the job.

The job holds significant attractions for Trump’s insatiable ego and limited attention span. The speaker is the constitutional equivalent of the president and the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and is next in line of succession after the vice president.

Since House Republicans have shown more interest in thwarting the policies of a Democratic president than in demonstrating they can govern responsibly, he won’t have to worry about any details.

As speaker, Trump would be the voice of the people’s legislature with a say on all legislation.

Sorry, Donald, but the Senate handles nominations and treaties, not the House, but you’ll have lots of opportunity for what you do best, making deals and giving speeches.

You can travel all around the world on government planes (sorry, Donald, you can’t paint your name on them), you can browbeat the IRS into dropping all audits of your own finances and those of your family, and you’ll have access to the highest government secrets. You won’t get to put your finger on the nuclear button, thank God, but you’ll have something else very potent, the power of the purse. Tax laws, by the Constitution, must originate in the House, and there’s also trillions in spending bills. If you thought you were a big shot with your mere billions, now you’ll be able to play with trillions.

With control of the House you’ll be able to hold all the hearings and investigations you want, issue a blizzard of subpoenas, publicly berate any and all government officials, accuse them of crimes and demand the Justice Department prosecute them, and you can pass resolutions holding any and all of your critics and enemies in contempt of Congress.

Actually, it is not that far fetched. If Republicans want a powerful leader in the House who will get them the attention – globally – that they crave and be a counterweight to president Clinton, they can have The Donald. And after obstructing everything she tries to do, he can run again in four years branding her a failure and declaring himself the only one capable of repairing the mess.

Since the Congress’ public approval rating is down around that of used car salesmen, North Korea and the Kardashians, Donald, this could be your chance to Make Congress Great Again.

As you told blacks, Hispanics and poor people at your rallies, what have you got to lose?

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

March 25, 2019
Letters to the Editor: Hamas controls UNRWA